Category Archives: Mental Health

Being human in 2022

Hi friends,

I’m back after a little hiatus from blogging. Not an intentional one, but just a natural lull as life has been changing a bit post pandemic restrictions in the UK.

I just want to check in with you all and hopefully encourage someone out there to feel less alone if you are finding it challenging to adapt to life in 2022.

I’ve been very fortunate in many ways, yet being human isn’t the easiest of things is it, especially these days? I’ve moved back to my own flat after spending about a year and a half working from home and living with my parents. The change has been good in many ways, and I hope to be able to visit again soon, but there is a sense of adjustment too.

Hybrid working, and a world of change.

My work has us now working a hybrid working pattern and for most or many people this means working two days in the office and three at home. Over the lockdown / pandemic I had two new bosses after two bosses left, and have started work in a new team. I am gradually adjusting to working in the office and it has been good to have face to face interaction. However, that being said, some days have been mentally and emotionally tiring, and I’m aware that there is an anxiety to resuming ‘life’ in 2022 even with all the benefits of being able to meet and interact again.

I remember, and have blog posts from 2019 and early 2020 where there was a sense of excitement and anticipation and hope for embarking upon new adventures, 2020 vision etc. The big news story of the day was Brexit, and so I had hoped to get some travelling done in 2020 before EU restrictions on travel from the UK. Little did we know how much and how quickly our world would change, and how our world continues to change.

In early 2022 many of us were feeling a bit hopeful if somewhat apprehensive about ‘getting back to normal’ again. It’s been good to start doing things again, and seeing people, but I’m aware that mental health is a big issue for many and I’m aware of frustrations with my own mental health as I strive for something more ‘normal’ or ‘healthy’ whatever that means while giving myself understanding that we’ve all been through many things recently even if you haven’t had challenges in the past. It can be hard to keep our heads above the parapets in a world like the one we are living in. The war and human devastation that is happening in Ukraine and other places in the world is far too big for me to write about but I know that this adds to the stress and trauma of society and individuals. Many people are adapting and coping well in their own individual lives as they ‘switch off’ from what is going on, but so many people cannot switch off from the horrors they are living through and we are faced daily with the reality of death, and how to live our lives in this world.

I’ve appreciated being back in community again with people and being able to talk and pray with others who know the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I have felt such comfort in seeing His Hand at work in my life in the ways He has provided friendships and connections for me and often giving the same or similar messages to me and a friend that has been an encouragement to be reminded of the reality of the Living God Who I have encountered again and again in life. It has been an encouragement to be with other believers and to also know His Peace carrying me.

Yet, being human our minds are often wired to anxious thoughts and feelings and even though I know the hope that I have in Christ, and the Peace for those who have trusted in Him and know His forgiveness and saving grace, it can still be a challenge to live in this world.

There are no easy answers

I know that there are no easy answers to what we are all living through in these days. Of course many people are doing great and are able to move through life well. But at the end of the day there is no point in gaining the whole world and forfeiting our souls. ‘Call upon the Name of The LORD and be saved’.

In a simple and practical sense though we all need to look after our mental health and wellbeing so that we can keep going through life. We are so complex as human beings and it can mean riding the waves as we move through life.

Little practical steps

I have found it so helpful to be able to connect face to face with friends again.

Other things that have been beneficial have been going for walks which I had so missed before.

Of being aware that many people are thinking and worrying about things and that we are not alone in trying to reign in our minds to more helpful thought patterns.

Taking rest and sleep when needed and trying to eat regularly and get a bit of exercise as well as setting a timer to do a task to focus my mind and then doing something else have also helped focus on the here and now.

You’re not alone

If you find your mind anxious or thinking about past things or worrying about the future you’re not alone. It takes time to build resilience in our minds and with everything going on in the world you might be feeling like you can’t cope. Something I learned during the lockdowns of the pandemic is that I can manage the next 10 minutes. And if you are feeling unsure and uncertain about the future, think about what you can do in the next 10 minutes of this day.

Take care and know that you are not the only one whatever you are going through.

New Year’s Eve 2021

It’s new year’s eve again. It’s been another ‘pandemic year’. Perhaps you have started hearing highlights of the year gone by, or people’s reflections, or plans for celebrations to ring in 2022, however ‘muted’ they may be compared to non-pandemic times. But what might be helpful for you to hear?

*You’ve probably learned more in the past two years than you realise, including how to adapt to your changing circumstances. We’ll continue to have to learn to live in a challenging world, but you have made it this far, you can take the next step, don’t give up, and don’t let fear of the unknown future overwhelm you. One day at a time. Encourage yourself and someone else today.

*There are people around you right now, today, whether in person or at the other end of a phone or screen that you can be really grateful for. You may have faced some real losses, or challenges, but even in the pain or struggle, there may still be people you value who are still in your life (even if they are the source of some of your challenges!). It’s worth remembering that and letting it brighten your heart a bit, and maybe even letting them know, especially knowing that not everyone has made it. There are people who are really grateful that you have stayed in touch with them during the pandemic too, and others who you’ve lost touch with that may actually be really pleased to hear from you again. Life is short, don’t be afraid to reach out – now is a good time, and a new year’s greeting a good enough ‘reason’.*

It’s not worth comparing our lives with other people’s, but while things might not be ideal, there are so many things to be thankful for, today. If you have more than enough, think of how you can share that with someone else who might not, whether kindness, love, friendship, encouragement or material things.

*Someone will really benefit from hearing from *you* , perhaps particularly today. There are a lot of people going through some heavy stuff just now, and you never know what difference you might make. ❤ Think about maybe not just sticking to your own circle, and reaching a little further beyond, you might just find some common ground, and you might be the reason for a changed or a saved life!. ❤

*It’s a new year, but while it’s a good time to consider goals and plans, don’t pile on the pressure to do so. Learn your lessons at your pace. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

*You are not your achievements, you are not the sum total of your relationships or connections, your appearance, or your possessions; your life has worth and value regardless of how well or badly you think you are doing, so be kind to your mind, and be kind to other people, and don’t judge them for where they are at. It’s a new year, but it’s ok just to take that one next step.

*Life on earth is fleeting, consider the big questions while you can, and don’t leave regrets. If you have been fortunate enough to come to the realisation of some of life’s big ‘answers’, live them out with all that you’ve got.

*Choose to enjoy the simple things today. If you’re on your own, remember that you’re not alone, the whole world isn’t having a great party that you’re not part of, so find some joy in your own little corner of life and be happy, even if for a moment. ❤ If you’re not on your own, reach out to someone who is 🙂 .

*It’s ok to be going through what you’re going through. Even as we ring in a ‘new year’.

*At least no one is panic buying loo roll this year 😉

*While the pandemic sucks, we still have this gift of life, and it does sometimes help to look around and take notice of all the little and big things we can be grateful for in this moment. Sometimes a bit of perspective helps – there may well be someone out there wishing their life was a bit more like yours or mine. We just need to look at the news to realise that.

*Speaking of which, maybe turn off the news for a while.

*1st Jan 2022 might be a brand new year for you, or ‘just another day’ – whatever the case, I hope you find peace, love, health and a sure hope amidst all the ups and downs of your unknown tomorrows. ❤ x

God bless. x

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Giving yourself permission to move on after pain…

Pain may have marked and marred your life for a long time. It may have cut so deep into your soul that it crippled you and in a way defined you for a very long time. Pain can run very deep especially if we’ve experienced it in childhood during formative and sensitive years. What if your soul has been deeply wounded and your mind shackled, but you’ve pressed on, survived trauma, pushed through and found healing?

Has pain and what happened to you or what you experienced become so fundamental to how you think of yourself and your life that even if you have healed from much of it you find it difficult to think of yourself in a new way or give yourself permission to move on from it?

It can be a challenge to our thinking to allow ourselves to live in the new found freedom we’ve craved for so long. I have been through years of deep inner pain, and yet now I am stepping into a new freedom and inner healing as the balm of God’s healing love and Holy Spirit heals and renews me from the inside out. Yet there are reminders of the things that I went through. But I have a new identity. I no longer need to be defined or crippled by pain or fear. It has been something I’ve spent many many years having to work through and overcome, but now what?

We can begin to use our pain to help others, but what about getting to the stage of completely letting go? I believe those deep soul wounds can only be fully healed by Jesus, even though on our own we can make progress, it doesn’t go to the deepest part of us.

What about living in transformation from victim to victor? Overcome to overcomer? This can take time and shifting our mindset and the things we tell ourselves daily and getting stronger.

I think I’m ready to move forwards, those deep wounds were a pivotal part of my life story and journey, ones that at the time I would never have wanted to go through or experience because they cut so deep, but Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection is far, far greater than that, and God can use the painful things in our life for greater good if we let Him, even if that seems to take a lifetime.

Have you gone through a transformative life experience that was marked by pain and suffering and brokenness? Have you worked hard to heal? Can you give yourself permission to let go and move forwards, using what happened to you to propel you into a brighter future where you can walk in freedom and help other people? Sometimes we go back and forth on these psychological bridges, sometimes we heal a bit and march forwards and then have to slow down and do some more deep healing. But perhaps there comes a time when we can say, that was then and this is now, and now is completely NEW. Now that is a psychological bridge worth crossing over once the raw emotions have healed.

Are you in a place where you can move forwards, even if that doesn’t mean a change in circumstances but just a change within yourself? What’s stopping you? Life is full of transitions, and thankfully, healing can be part of that no matter what has gone before. Give yourself permission to live, to thrive, or to do the hard and painful work of getting there, if need be.

I think of the glory of the Cross, the agonising suffering that Jesus Christ went through for me, and the Glory that He Is in now. If my life is hidden with Christ in God, then surely I can embrace the new, because He has won the victory for me, and His Touch brings the deep healing my soul needs, even if He unravels us from that hurt and pain over time, if we let Him, He will make us free! ❤ Praise be to God. I can be free because of what He did and does for me. By His wounds we are healed. Ask Him, receive from Him, He won’t let you down, even if it is tough to start with, He will see you through.

Take care. Stay safe and strong. x

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Mind your mind….

Believe it or not, your thoughts can influence the course of your life. We need to be aware and mindful of what is going on in our minds and how we are letting things affect us. It can be a jumble in there, but the Truth can make us free, if we know it and apply it.

You might not realise it, but we are also in a spiritual battle, and there is a lot going on that can influence our minds and our thinking. From the lies we are told about ourselves in childhood that shape our sense of self and identity, to the information that we have to process as adults in a changing and challenging world.

Everyday, we allow thoughts to affect us, and it can lead to needing professional help at times, or to affecting our moods.

What is going on in your mind today? What thoughts are you allowing to influence and affect you? Is something from the past creeping into your mind today that either you need to work on or that you need to shut the door on?

Are you able to be present today, are you able to know your identity and worth?

Take your thoughts captive. Don’t let them take you captive. Be blessed. x

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Do the thing in front of you…. <3

We live in a world where there is so much going on right now, we can allow this to impact negatively upon our thinking, our processing, our existing and living.

We can sometimes look at our day ahead or even worry about our whole life and future and that of those around us and feel a bit overwhelmed.

You’re not alone if you feel that way.

We can only live one day at a time, one moment at a time, and there may be something for you to do today that is part of a bigger picture, a greater plan. Just take that next step, without fear if you can.

Do that next household task, write that new encouraging blog post to lift someone’s mood and day, you never know someone might be reading it, even if you never find out about this, send that encouraging message or text to a friend and let them know they’re not alone.

Do that next thing to take care of your health. Take that next small step. Be present. Don’t let the fear of life take away the joy of living, by faith, today. Even in this troubled world there is still wonder in the small moments. ❤ x

And if you are His, and know the Reality of Him, remind yourself: “This is the day that The LORD has made, let us rejoice and give thanks in it”.

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Ruminator, Rescued or Rescuer….

We all have ‘niggling’ thoughts from time to time. Some of us have had to overcome more traumatic thoughts or episodes in our lives, when thoughts really got ‘stuck’ because we couldn’t process an event or circumstance in our life, especially if we were children at the time.

However, no matter what age you are or were when this thought got ‘stuck’, particularly something negative in your mind that you feel you need to ‘figure out’ or ‘fix’, there are some common patterns.

Sometimes we need to work out traumas and go through a difficult and painful process of talking through things, making sense of something so that we can see it in a new light and process through to get to a better place so that we are not consumed by it. But what if having gone through such a process, or perhaps not necessarily needing to if it wasn’t particularly severe, we still have negative thoughts, feelings or memories popping into our minds? There are definitely times when we need to seek out help for mental health and do the hard work that goes along with that. But at other times we may just be allowing ourselves to indulge in old thought patterns of rumination. For example ‘he said’ or ‘she said’ and getting stuck in someone else’s negative words or opinions about you or the way they treated you that was unkind or unfair.

Having worked through the past, do we fall back into ruminating over it to no end? Do we allow ourselves to remain as a victim (and I know with deep sympathy from experience that there are times when we have been victimised and need to work through that pain and hurt and that’s ok), or do we allow ourselves to move on to being in a sense ‘rescued’, getting help, and then taking that big mental shift in seeing a new identity where we can be strong even in allowing the negative things that we all in different ways experience in our lives in this world to be used for good – do we allow ourselves to move from rescued to rescuer?

Where are you today? Are you allowing negative thoughts from the past to overtake your present moments? Or even looking to the ‘good old days’ and lamenting where you are now instead? Take these thoughts and turn them for good. If you were hurt, seek ways in which you can heal and then eventually reach out to help someone else who might be hurting now. Put this into practice and allow a gradual mental shift from victim to survivor to overcomer to thriver and victor. I believe in our core soul this healing, deep healing is only every fully possible in Jesus Christ, His Love Is a balm, and His suffering can bring victory over evil. Yet no matter where you are in your thinking or beliefs or what you are going through, don’t let your thoughts crush you. Take them, use them and change the track of your mind one thought at time. Seek to know the Truth that will make you free. x

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Your Value…

Your value cannot be added to nor taken away. At some point in your life, you will have doubted this. At some point, each of us have been brought to question our value, whether in a slight way or a traumatic way. Trauma is subjective, so something like a word spoken against us in childhood may have had profound negative effects on our sense of self, identity, worth and value in life.

Children take their own lives because of the abuse of bullying, the wounds of words and even if we survive things like constant demoralisation in childhood, the negative effects can reverberate well into adulthood, even if we accomplish many things.

Our value cannot be diminished, nor taken away. We are in a battle within a world that constantly lies to us about where our worth lies. Do not believe these lies, hold fast to the Truth, believe that the damage done to you, a precious soul, can be undone.

If you have been on the planet long enough, or even as we sadly see in the news, for a very short time, as children experience terrible things, you will know what it is to feel ‘less than’.

Your worth cannot be added to, nor taken away. No matter who said what to you, or who did what to you, or what you did, your worth, your intrinsic worth, as a human being, cannot change.

You were worth the Precious, Holy Blood of Jesus Christ shed for you at the Cross, to forgive you, cleanse you from within, and make you a new creation, healing you of all of the damage done to you and that you have done. That Is Priceless.

Wherever you are on life’s journey, whatever has been said or done to you, choose to believe the Truth over lies. Choose to believe the Truth over your distorted feelings and thoughts about yourself or what you experienced and what happened to you. You are priceless, but you have a choice. Choose to go to the Healer, The One Whose arms are always open to you, The One Whose Love will, in time, set you completely free. You will be clothed in purity, in righteousness, faultless, unblemished, and soaked with real, tangible, pure Love.

Being set free is a process, but you can choose to begin this by asking Him, The Only One Who can truly help you and heal those deep, deep wounds, and cleanse those deep sins, and soothe your scars. You will be transformed from the inside out, and as you let Him, your deep pain and shattered brokenness will know the Healing Balm of Christ’s love, comfort and forgiveness – His Spirit Is Real and indwells believers and gives a comfort like no other. I know. We all are broken in some way, but not beyond repair. We all are sinners, but not beyond His Amazing, Redemptive Love and Forgiveness. Just ask. Such a free gift of Love, Real Tangible Heart Healing Love Is one not to be refused, so why do you stand afar off, when He Is the Source of Life?

Yes, bad things happen, we are in a broken world, and there is evil, and a battle in this world, even for our very souls. But Christ Is Greater. He Is Truth. You will be told many lies about Him, but unless you know Him for yourself, you will remain entangled in those lies. His Love Is Real, Tangible, Pure and He Is quietly changing things from the inside out. One day we all will see this. Make sure you have made the right choice. Choose today, call out to Jesus, it will change your life.

Your worth cannot be added to, nor taken away. To Him – you are Priceless, worth His Blood, He chose that for you. He Loves you. Think about that. ❤ x

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Making a Difference…

I can sometimes feel a bit down when reading the news headlines and learning more about the terrible and dark things going on in the world. I’m sure each and everyone of you can relate. We weren’t ultimately made for a reality like that, our hearts yearn for something complete, loving, perfect and whole. Our hearts yearn for comfort from within, and an everlasting comfort, for a Love that goes beyond what we see day in and day out around us.

It got me to thinking that while so much bad is going on in the world, each and every one of us can make a difference, even in the smallest of ways, each day of our lives. We can make a difference by sharing kindness, encouragement, Truth and love.

You can make a difference in your blog, in how you treat the person you are with in this moment, of how you treat the people you encounter in your day.

It might not seem much, but it can be. So make a difference today ❤

x

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Don’t compare…

The pandemic hastens on. If you are feeling lonely, struggling, not sure what to do, for whatever circumstances you are feeling stuck at home or left behind while others around you go on living life or seem to be having all the good times, friend, don’t compare.

This advice is as much for me as it is for you. We can only ever live one day at a time. Your journey is completely different to that other person’s with whom you compare. Maybe things are going great for them and not for you, well, lift your focus. Change the direction of your thoughts away from comparison that might just hurt your heart and bring you down and think about what you can do with your life today….even if that thing is just to slow down and to rest.

You matter. I believe you matter to God. I believe that Jesus Christ Is able to help you, and me, and you just need to turn away from what is wrong, including what is wrong inside of you, and ask Him for help. He loves you. And even if you don’t believe, find comfort in knowing that the measure of your life is not a measure against anyone else’s. Take this day as it comes. Look for joy in the small things. Be happy for other people, be kind to yourself and don’t compare. Think that how you are feeling might just be similar to how someone else is feeling right now. Can you reach out to them? Let them know they’re not alone? Can you reach out to someone you don’t even know, someone suffering, some charity? Give as you live. Take things a moment at a time. Be thankful. Stay safe and call out for the Name of Love, the One Who will see you through. ❤ x

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